Tag: Good

Demi Lovato Is Pansexual, Feeling Good About Queer as a Label Too

Demi Lovato Is Pansexual, Feeling Good About Queer as a

Good afternoon, friends and foes! Have you taken Riese’s Which L Word Character Are You? quiz yet? It is very popular! Most of our staff got Jenny, if you can believe it, and I got Dana! It’s not a 1:1 match for me, but I do love sports and my cats.

+ Hey speaking of sports, Megan Rapinoe is using her platform to speak out against these hateful and ridiculous bills targeting trans teens who want access to the locker rooms and teams that match their gender. She also hit up the White House with Margaret Purce last week on Equal Pay Day, after testifying about gender discrimination before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Carmen has more in Also.Also.Also!

+ Related:

+ Demi Lovato kind of likes “pansexual” as a label.

+ Miriam Margolyes, known mostly to you as Professor Sprout, absolutely did some sexy voice acting before Harry Potter. (It was exhausting.)

+ Kristen Stewart’s latest foray into Princess Diana’s iconic looks while filming Spencer.

+ Ashley Benson talks about the struggles of being in the public eye and dealing with paparazzi.

+ Disney+’s National Treasure reboot will feature a Latinx lead.

+ Margaret Cho talked on her podcast about feeling like a target during the current rise of anti-Asian racism in the U.S.

+ New details about the bisexual lead in the new Life Is Strange game.

+ Genera+ion co-creator Zelda Barnz on wanting to do right by Gen Z and the queer community.

+ Vida‘s Tanya Saracho on queer Latinx representation.

+ Littlewood on Nintendo Switch review: a charming, queer life sim that Stardew Valley fans will love.

+ BBC’s Line of Duty dials up the lesbian tension and queer fans can’t cope.

+ Chyler Leigh is heading back to Grey’s Anatomy.

+ TV Line’s performer of the week is Genius: Aretha star Cynthia Erivo.

+ Batwoman‘s Black Mask has plans for Kate Kane, and they are pretty horrifying.

+ Dear Montero, Lil Nas X has called your name with love.

+ There was a lot more to Jessica Walter than martini GIFS.

Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She’s a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1114 articles for us.

“Good Trouble” Episode 303 Recap: Whoosh, Pow, Bang

"Good Trouble" Episode 303 Recap: Whoosh, Pow, Bang

Over three seasons of Good Trouble, we’ve gotten to see Alice Kwan grow. We’ve seen her assert herself as the manager of the Coterie. We’ve seen her find the courage to come out to her parents. We’ve watched her experience love and heartbreak and manage to come out the other side. She’s stepped into this new career as a stand-up comic with aplomb: impressing Lindsay Brady enough to get an opening slot on their comedy tour and impressing the CBTV judges panel enough to land a spot in their diversity workshop.

But through it all, one thing about Alice has remained the same: her selflessness. She remains committed to putting other people first, even when it’s too her detriment. She’ll do it when the stakes are high — like last week when she skipped her audition to participate in the sit-in for Malika — and when the stakes are low, like this week when she starts the CBTV workshop on the floor because she doesn’t want to impose upon anyone to get her a chair. Clearly, we’ve still got some growing to do.

Alice's first day at the CBTV Workshop does not go as well as she'd hoped.

Last season, when we first learned about the CBTV diversity workshop, I tried to suppress my natural skepticism. As a biracial black queer woman, I’ve found myself in a lot of spaces where colleagues come together to talk about diversity and inclusion — it’s become a $8 billion industry — and how to improve the culture….and, sufficed to say, those did not go well. I thought about the diversity efforts we’ve already seen on Good Trouble: with Mariana and the “Fight Club” trying to establish equity at Speckulate. While those efforts yielded some gains, they were hard-fought: Mariana’s work was attacked relentlessly by the tech company’s “bro-holes,” who wanted to maintain the patriarchal power structure and nearly derailed by white women who weren’t as invested in racial equity as they were gender equity.

Nonetheless, I tried to be optimistic, for Alice. I wanted to see Alice win…I wanted to see Lindsay Brady lose…and, perhaps most of all, I wanted a reason for Ruby to stick around. It only takes a few minutes of being inside the CBTV diversity workshop to realize that my skepticism was warranted.

After welcoming the seven participants — instead of the usual six — to the program, the facilitator, Scott Farrell, jokes, “As your program director, it is my job to to make, or break, your careers.”

Everyone laughs, including Scott, but it doesn’t feel like he thinks he’s joking. He goes on to talk about all the performers who have participated in the program before and gone onto bigger things…though, of course, he can’t be bothered to remember any of their names. Scott — ostensibly, a straight cis white male — touts “what a great time [it is] to be diverse” and that diversity is “the new black.”

He points to Stacy, a black woman, and suggests that she could be the next Tiffany Haddish. The group’s latina, Magda? He tells her she could be Aubrey Plaza in “el barrio.” He tells Alice she could be “crazy” and “rich”. But he saves, perhaps, his most cringeworthy moment for Lindsay: “you could be Pat!”

Rhea Butcher’s physical reaction to the jab is understated but brilliant. They recoil from the sting of the insult and nod, as if they knew all along when Scott turned his attention to them, Pat would be his reference. Alice, apparently not having seen the first season of Work in Progress, unwittingly adds salt to the wound by asking who Pat is….and Scott relishes the opportunity to talk about that harmful character. It’s only then that Alice looks over and notices Lindsay shifting uncomfortably in their seat. Of course, Scott never notices.

Writing a good “villain” on a progressive television show is a tough needle to thread. You want to make it obvious enough that the audience can tell that this is the bad person while also never going too far that the villain become cartoonish, leaving the audience doubting whether that kind of bad person actually exists. You have to achieve that precarious balance of being compellingly subtle and blatantly obvious. For some, the depiction of Scott in this episode will fall in that latter category. He’ll seem cartoonish…after all, he offends almost every time he opens his mouth and he’s oblivious to the harm he causes. But having sat across the table from far too many Scott Farrells in my life, the depiction felt stunningly real to me.

He felt like every cis white man I’ve met who’s quietly aggrieved about the emphasis on diversity and equity but also sees it as an avenue to boost his own profile. He’s the guy who’s too hapless to be put in charge of anything that “matters” but perfectly suitable for leading the company’s diversity initiative. He’s someone who manages to center whiteness and heterosexuality even as he talks diversity and inclusion. He’s the guy who confuses one person of color with another, even though their skin tones look nothing alike, and who reflexively speaks Spanish when he passes a Latinx colleague in the hall. He’s the guy who makes a point to tell you how much of an ally is to his second cousin who just came out to the family or that he “would have voted for Obama for a third term if [he] could.” Yeah, I know Scott Farrell…I know too many Scott Farrells.

But, as it turns out, the biggest hurdle on day one of the the CBTV isn’t Scott himself, it’s that the diversity workshop culminates with a sketch showcase that will only feature five of the seven workshop participants. All of a sudden, these underrepresented voices are all pitted against each other in competition…forced to fight each other instead of fighting the system which necessitated this program in the first place. After the first day, Alice is convinced that she’ll be one of the people cut and considers quitting before it happens. Surprisingly, it’s Lindsay that talks her out of it.

“Or, maybe, you should just finish what you started instead of giving up because you had a bad day?” they suggest. Lindsay reminds Alice that she’s not competing against them, or anyone else in the group, she’s competing against herself. Alice is, understandably, weary about Lindsay’s motives but they’re sincere…besides, since they gave Alice her first big break, however good or bad she does reflects on Lindsay. Left alone to prepare a character for the next day’s workshop, Alice takes a call from her mother and it’s at this point, I scream at my television, “OH NO! ALICE! DON’T!”

Alice and Lindsay perform an improv sketch at the CBTV workshop.

But sure enough, she does. When it comes time for Alice and Lindsay to improvise their sketch with their characters, Alice dons her mother’s accent and reenacts part of their conversation from the night before.

There’s a lot of disagreement in comedy circles about employing accents. As a general rule, I am not a fan — it feels like low-hanging fruit and it’s hard for me to hear anything other than people laughing at immigrants — but, in the instances in which its tolerable, it’s because the comedian grounds the portrayal in a holistic depiction of that person. Margaret Cho will imitate her mother’s accent but she also shares her mother’s stories and experiences. Yvonne Orji slides effortlessly into her parents’ Nigerian accents in her stand-up routine but she also lets the audience see them and Nigeria in her Netflix stand-up special. In short, accents are okay if the depiction is about more than the accent. But, of course, that’s not what Alice does here: she just imitates her mother to get a laugh and it works.

The audience laughs, Scott especially, and when the day’s session ends, Alice’s confidence is at all all-time high. She’s surrounded by visiting writers and the participants that dismissed her yesterday until she sees Lindsay leaving and goes to talk to them. Alice congratulates Lindsay on their character but they acknowledge that it was Alice that killed today.

“You’re lucky, you have your ethnicity to fall back on,” Lindsay says dismissively.

Some small part of me wants to be glad that someone clued Alice in that what she was doing was problematic, I wish it’d been anyone but Lindsay. Based on the stunned look on Alice’s face as Lindsay walks away, I think the détente between the two comics is officially over.

Coterie Sundries

+ As is Good Trouble‘s wont, “Whoosh, Pow, Bang” was packed with story…and, there’s not a single storyline that I couldn’t write a thousand words about. Alice, Callie, Davia, Mariana and Gael all had great stories this week, I really loved them all. Also? The episode was directed by Pretty Little Liars alum, Troian Bellisario.

+ Callie uncovers that the guard who kept Jared pills from him — thus contributing to his increased charges — may have taken the drugs for his own personal use. But when the DA offers a plea deal to Kathleen Gale that’d have Jared out of lock-up in a month, she opts to take the case to trial. Stunned by the reversal, Callie confronts her new mentor. Instead of hurrying to get Jared out, Kathleen’s chasing a civil lawsuit against the city that could be worth millions. She rationalizes it as a way to ensure that Jared has money for treatment and a home once he gets out but Callie and I both seem worried that Jared will last that long.

+ Davia continues her work with the Equity Committee this week and each of the teachers starts sending problem students to other teachers, during their free periods, instead of the principal’s office. Once in the classroom, the focus is on restorative justice…a concept that Davia doesn’t really latch onto right away. She invites Gael into her classroom to work with the students through art and that proves successful.

I’m also glad to see Davia and Gael’s friendship continuing to grow…though I’m less certain about how I feel about whether Davia should pursue a relationship with her adorkable colleague.

+ Through 34 episodes of Good Trouble, I’ve found Gael the most relatable when he’s working on his art and when he’s with his family so I’m excited to see art re-emerge as part of his story. I completely related to his disappointment over not having achieved the same success that his friends have, especially when those friends come from money and you don’t. I was a bit remiss that he couldn’t pursue something working with those kids — he really shined in that environment — but I’m excited to see what this internship brings.

+ So, Evan’s just Tom Hank’s adult character in Big? Why does a grown ass man have a trampoline in his apartment?

Next Week: It’s a Fosters reunion! The Mamas are back!

Support Independent Queer Media

We’re raising funds to make it through the end of July. 99% of the people who read this site don’t support. Will you be one of the ones who do? Joining A+ is one of the best ways to support Autostraddle — plus you get access to bonus content while keeping the site 99% free for everyone. Will you join today?

Support Autostraddle

Join A+

“Good Trouble” Episode 301 Recap: Capoeira

"Good Trouble" Episode 301 Recap: Capoeira

Good Trouble finished its second season with one of my favorite episodes to date. Not only did the episode immerse us in the ethereal experience known as Trap Heals, it gave us story development on so many fronts.

Alice continued her evolution, from the meek Coterie manager we saw in the pilot to the confident comedian willing to challenge her mentor for a spot in the CBTV diversity program. Malika cemented her support structure — getting her boyfriend, Isaac, treatment for his anxiety, healing the rift between her father and brother, inviting her fellow Coterie residents into her world — before she goes to court. After silently pining after each other for months (and compelling me to care) Dennis and Davia finally confessed their love for one another. The Adams Fosters sisters finally reunited, after both having lobbed grenades into their personal relationships: Callie stealing Jamie’s privileged work product and Mariana cheating on Raj with Evan (after believing Raj cheated on her with her roommate, Isabella).

“That’s a wrap on season two of Good Trouble! The show returns this summer for its third season and, after ‘Trap Heals,’ I can honestly say I can’t wait,” I wrote in my recap, clearly not realizing that I was “[tempting] the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.”

Callie celebrates passing the bar and getting a new job with her chosen family at the Coterie.

Just a week after the Good Trouble finale aired, an NBA player named Rudy Gobert would test positive for COVID-19. While the virus had already made it to American shores, Gobert’s positive test brought it to the forefront of the American consciousness. The NBA shutdown its season soon thereafter and everything else fell like dominoes behind it. Sufficed to say, I didn’t get those summer episodes of Good Trouble.

We all changed that day and even more in the 344 days since. Everything we do, everything we’ve always taken for granted, comes with risk now. Our grief is palpable, our mourning omnipresent. And while we all hope that the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel and that things might one day get back to normal, we all secretly worry that there is no going back… this is our new normal.

Good Trouble‘s third season finally premiered last night, months after it was promised and nearly a year since “Trap Heals” aired. It does not exist in our new normal. There are no masks, no social distancing, no mention of COVID-19 anywhere. In a preview of the new season with TV Line, the show’s executive producer, Joanna Johnson, said, “I just also think that people don’t want to turn on the TV and see everyone in masks. I feel like people want to escape a little, and I really appreciate television [shows set in] a mask-free world, where people are out. It relieves my anxiety when I see that on TV.”

I understand that desire. I get wanting to have a break from this reality and immersing yourself in an alternate universe for a while. Of course, I want to watch television that reminds me of what it was like to sit beside my co-workers or to hang out with my friends at a bar or to share a hug or kiss with someone new. I get wanting to have some reminders of what normal once was and what we hope it looks like again soon. But as I watched Good Trouble‘s season premiere — much to my surprise — I found myself feeling like the show had missed an opportunity.

Malika faces an unexpected challenge on this week's Good Trouble.

Good Trouble has never been a show about escapism. It’s never been a show devoted to making people feel more comfortable. When you look at the storylines the show has done — on Black Lives Matter, on sexism and racism in tech, on the school to prison pipeline — the goal hasn’t been to relieve anxieties, it’s been to foreground them so that others could bear witness. To avoid telling the uncomfortable stories now feels contrary to what this show has always been.

What’s more? I’m not sure there is a show on television that was better prepared to tell the story of this moment than Good Trouble. For Malika, the story could have been how the handling of this pandemic has re-emphasized how black and brown lives don’t matter. For Davia, how the solution to educating during a pandemic has harmed our most vulnerable students. For Dennis, how the pandemic has exacerbated the need for mental health resources and, as such, made them harder to access. For Mariana, how even as the rest of the world struggles to make ends meet, tech is booming. For Alice (and Sumi), how the pandemic has led to a spike in Anti-Asian hate crimes. For Callie — if she’d kept her old job — a story about the looming “homeless pandemic” or — if she persisted in pursuing criminal defense — how the pandemic has led to a suspension of defendants’ constitutional rights or how states have allowed COVID to run rampant in prisons. And all that’s before you dig into the personal impact of the pandemic… lost jobs, illness and the loss of life…there was so much story potential but instead we’re concerned about anxiety relief. It seems like a missed opportunity to me.

All that said, Good Trouble‘s season’s premiere did find a way to capture some of the heartbreak of the last year by breaking up nearly every couple on the canvas. Callie and Jamie? Done. Mariana and Raj? Over after she decides to give her inappropriate relationship with Evan a shot. Davia and Dennis? On pause before they even really had a chance to get started. Isaac and Malika are still together but given her newfound closeness with her co-worker, I’m worried about their future (the new guy tells Malika, “I already knew I was in big trouble from the day I met you,” with those dimples…. yeah, I know an interloper when I see one).

Coterie Sundries

+ If I didn’t feel so strongly about the COVID avoidance in Good Trouble, this recap would’ve been entirely about how much I’ve grown to dislike Callie. She is actually the worst.

Last season, she stood before a group tenants and encouraged them to turn down relocation vouchers and fight their evictions. She promised to fight for them. But this season, when a shiny new object turns up at the Legal Aid offices — a shiny new object which I adore, mind you, because it’s Constance Zimmer in full Mommi mode — she drops those tenants without a second thought and opts to become a criminal defense attorney. I guess it’s supposed to be endearing that Callie hops from one job to the next — a lot of 20 year olds do — but if the show valued the stories of those tenants as something other than a plot device, they’d realize how awful this makes Callie look.

And then, on top of that, her theft of privileged information from Jamie — which, I guess we’re supposed to see as some moral victory — carries absolutely zero consequences for her even as it ruins her ex-boyfriend’s career. Perhaps she can’t be held criminally liable but, at the very least, she should face questions from the California State Bar about her moral standing to be member of the bar. But no, she won’t face any consequences and I absolutely hate it.

+ As someone who audibly groaned when they put Callie back in Gael’s orbit soon after she’d returned to the Coterie, I was pleasantly surprised by the misdirection of Gael’s brunette hook-up being Isabella, not Callie. That said, it felt a little like Chekhov’s gun and I’m anxious to see if has any ramifications.

+ Speaking of Isabella, she’s gone now? I feel a little bad for thinking the worst of her last season. Turns out she wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Next week: Shut it down, but not really because it’s not a pandemic on Good Trouble.

(I promise, by next week, I’ll be over this.)

Support Independent Queer Media

We’re raising funds to make it through the end of July. 99% of the people who read this site don’t support. Will you be one of the ones who do? Joining A+ is one of the best ways to support Autostraddle — plus you get access to bonus content while keeping the site 99% free for everyone. Will you join today?

Support Autostraddle

Join A+

I’m a pre hrt trans girl, still closeted publicly and with lots of family and a lot sucks, but today was a good day and my fiancé did my makeup and I felt happy. ❤️ : actuallesbians

I’m a pre hrt trans girl, still closeted publicly and

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Come Vibe With Me: Good News

Come Vibe With Me: Good News

Image shows Megan Thee Stallion standing facing the camera with her red hair flowing down. She is holding a paper with her face on it and the words "Good News" across the top.
Megan reading good news about herself is the wave I am trying to be on.

I’ve been getting an influx of good news and opportunities over the past month or so. Some that I am allowed to share and some I’m not, but not even sure I would if I could. Not for lack of wanting to, just worry that doing so would make it more real, which means it has a bigger possibility of going away. You would think that I would be floating on cloud nine with my head in the sky and yeah, I am but — I have a bit of fear still, too.

I know I am not the only one, but often in my life, it feels like a chunk of good news is quickly followed by something rocky. Because of that, I’m on guard once the reality sets in that something that I’ve been wanting is on the way. Instead of sitting in the happiness and preparing myself for joy — I’m ultimately preparing myself for defeat and gloom.

This time around when the waves of great news started coming in, I decided to just let it be. I opted to lean as hard as I could into the positivity of these moments. It was so hard to push away the fear of something “bad” being on the way, so I had to turn to tangible things to help. I re-read the emails that had the dates and times of the meetings, I listened to the voicemails from my parents that told me they were proud and to just be myself, and I just truly tried to use everything I could find to sit in the moments of delight.

I was proud of myself, not just for being able to actually use the tools I had at my disposal to guide me through — but also just proud of my accomplishments. I usually don’t rest in them; I let them happen and celebrate for a second and then ponder on if I’m worthy of it. That’s the imposter syndrome that I let in before it’s even finished knocking on my door.

But this time, I did good and I deserve more than a treat. I’m on my way to breaking this big, harmful habit and that in itself is something to celebrate too. So please, bathe in your accomplishments despite how minute you deem them to be — you’re worth of it and you absolutely deserve.

Sweet Sunday babes.

Y’all Come Look at This

There is a sexual recession happening in Britain and Chante Joseph breaks it down over on Gal-Dem.

There are two more movies coming out where white women pine over each other and kiss in secret, but all I want is to see more Black girls on screen kissing and falling in love.

TikTok is full of folks who are showing off their roller skating skills — but Black and Brown women are reclaiming the culture which has ties to the early days of Hip-Hop.

Megan makes me so happy, just seeing her live her life as authentic as she does makes me smile. Now she is the first global ambassador for Mielle hair products! I already use them so I’m one step closer to Thee Stallion herself.

Adiba Jaigirdars’ book Hani and Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating is at the top of my list for spring reads — pre-order it now and swoon over the cute ass cover.

I’m a pastor’s daughter who grew up in the church, so I love reading about other queer folks and their family history with religion and this personal essay over on Harpers Bazaar by Leah Johnson (we also talked about it on Thursday!) was simply stunning.

Image shows text that reads "Judas and the black messiah" in white. a black male stands in the text wearing all black and a beret, while another one is juxtaposed behind him with a red filter covering him.

Judas and the Black Messiah

“You can kill a revolutionary but you can’t kill the revolution”

I talked about this trailer when it dropped a few weeks ago, and now the film is finally out and I can say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Dominique Fishback’s’ performance is so beautiful, she constantly delivers every time she is on the screen. The film delivers from the script to the visuals. There were so many moments that I wanted to capture and turn into a still.

If you have HBOMax it’s streaming now so head over and watch ASAP.

Watch the trailer here!

Tin House has opened up their first set of residencies for 2021! Head over to the post to get more information and apply. One of my favorite Chicago organizations, The Aura House, is hosting a seminar on harnessing the positive power and energy of your pussy! And Mercurys Brood is focused on shining light on the marginalized voices of the astrology community, they have a Kickstarter that’s nearing a stretch goal, donate to help them reach it.

If you have anything happening that you think would be a good fit for the community love virtual billboard, send it my way via Instagram. Please remember that anything you send must have a focus on people of color.

I don’t know what’s in the water in Texas but — keep drinking it.

I’m feeling overwhelmed but also excited – so what better way to get through that feeling with a little bit of City Girls and Megan.

Support Independent Queer Media

We’re raising funds to make it through the end of July. 99% of the people who read this site don’t support. Will you be one of the ones who do? Joining A+ is one of the best ways to support Autostraddle — plus you get access to bonus content while keeping the site 99% free for everyone. Will you join today?

Support Autostraddle

Join A+

All boobs are good boobs : actuallesbians

All boobs are good boobs : actuallesbians

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

I Watched the Wrong Lesbian Dinosaur Movie, But It Was Really Good

I Watched the Wrong Lesbian Dinosaur Movie, But It Was

When news of Ammoninite washed ashore on the great sea of the internet, I was elated. Two of the things I love most in life are lesbians and dinosaurs, and Ammonite promised both of those things! That the lesbians were to be played by Oscar/Emmy/Grammy-winner Kate Winslet and Saoirse Lady Bird Ronan was fine and good. I especially loved Ronan as lesbian icon Jo March in Little Women. But mostly, I must confess, I was in it for those giant and fantastic reptilian critters of yore. Well, and then the reviews came in, and they were Not Good. Our own Drew Gregory, who loves to love things and does not love to not love things, said Ammonite was drab! And dull! And dour! But I could not pass up the chance to watch a movie about lesbian dinosaurs, so I said to the Amazon Echo, my own personal pre-extinction device, “Alexa, please play the lesbian dinosaurs movie!”

The reason you know the lesbian dinosaur movie is a lesbian movie is because it starts out with a tragedy! Innocent Littlefoot, who is a Longneck dinosaur, becomes friends with chatty Cera, a Three-Horn dinosaur, even though their parents discourage it because they’re different species. Then one night when they’re out playing, a Sharptooth attacks them! And Littlefoot’s mom, who is voiced by Helen Shaver, who plays Vivian in the iconic lesbian movie Desert Hearts, gets eaten by the Sharptooth! But this is a lesbian movie and so that’s just the beginning of the misery. Next thing you know, there’s an earthquake and Littlefoot and Cera get separated from their whole entire families and the planet is changing temperatures and there’s hardly any food left and their only hope is to get to the Great Valley, a land flowing with tree stars.

Littlefoot and Cera set off on a journey to the Great Valley, and soon encounter a Bigmouth dinosaur named Ducky and a Flyer dinosaur named Petrie and a Spiketail dinosaur named Spike who join up with them. Everyone is very happy to have friends because they are hungry and cold, but Cera can’t shake the prejudices of her family, so she decides she’s going to find “her own kind” — but gives up on that real quick when it gets dark and scary and frigid at night.

But that’s only the beginning of the tension between Littlefoot and Cera. See, Littlefoot, in true queer fashion, has a lot of mommy issues. (This, of course, is a common theme in other popular lesbian movies such as Carol and Frozen 2.) First of all, he hears his mom’s voice guiding him toward rock formations and fire mountains and also sees her in the clouds. Like physically, he sees her body in the form of a cloud leading him places. And second of all, he is in constant turmoil because his mom was kind of a bigot but also any time anyone says anything slightly rude about her, he tries to murder them! Which is how the gang ends up following Cera instead of him.

It’s hard to know who is the lesbian-est of these lesbian dinosaurs. I have mentioned Littlefoot’s mommy issues and Cera’s entire Scorpio deal — “I can get my OWN green food! You see, I can take care of myself; all by myself. I’m not afraid to be alone, I know my way to go, AND… I’m not afraid of the Sharptooth, AND… I hope that he doesn’t eat any of you!” — but there’s some other lesbian traits amongst them. Ducky has serious people-pleaser boundary stuff, just “Yep! Yep! Yep!” to everything. Petrie has imposter syndrome and spends the whole movie feeling insecure about not flying yet. And, to be honest, they’re all going through a big time existential crisis and even the simplest conversations are framed against the backdrop of their own mortality and the ephemeral nature of existence.

In the end, though, this little found family comes together and discovers their own powers because of each other and also because of adversity. Cera does a superheroic headbutt! Petrie learns to fly on the snuffy breath of a Sharptooth! Littlefoot uses his tenacity and ingenuity to save the day! And, together, they make it to the Great Valley!

It was when they made it to the Great Valley and neither Kate Winslet nor Saoirse Lady Bird Ronan had shown up that I realized Alexa had played the wrong lesbian dinosaur movie. But I’m glad I watched it anyway. It’s a lot of pain and also angst about the fact of impermanence of all living things, but also resilience and hard-won hope like that Mary Oliver poem “Don’t Hesitate”:

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

And by “crumb,” of course I mean “a single tree star.”

Tired as we are? How about a good ‘ole comforting laugh? / Queerty

Tired as we are? How about a good ‘ole comforting

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Comfort Food: Mean Girls

Since we currently feel like we’ve been steamrolled by American politics, we’ve decided to take a peaceful jaunt back to the era of high school politics, with one of the great comedies about political nastiness.

Mean Girls, of course, won great reviews and became a major hit when it debuted back in 2004. The film follows the arrival of wide-eyed innocent Cady (Lindsay Lohan) into an upper-middle-class high school, and the vicious fellow females she encounters from the outset. The Plastics, led by the uber-nasty Regina (Rachel McAdams), dominate student life with their mixture of snark, beauty and cunning manipulation. A war of sorts ensues as Cady and Regina both try to assert their personalities within the high school dynamic, with both women becoming more and more superficial and vicious as a result.

Lindsay Lohan may have become a household name based on the success of Mean Girls, though the film’s real legacy comes from its announcement of Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried as up-and-coming starlets, along with Daniel Franzese and Jonathan Bennett. Both Franzese and Bennett would go on to successful acting careers, and become outspoken, out-gay advocates. Writer Tina Fey too would find herself pushed into a higher echelon of Hollywood writers, as the film developed a cult around it that has only expanded over time.

Witty, deep and oh so fetch, Mean Girls is exactly the kind of comfort food we need this weekend. Enjoy it along with a very tall glass of wine.

Streams on YouTube, Amazon, VUDU and iTunes.

Sooo many good screen shots : actuallesbians

Sooo many good screen shots : actuallesbians

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Chinese government nixes Shanghai Pride…possibly for good / Queerty

Chinese government nixes Shanghai Pride…possibly for good / Queerty

via Facebook

The Chinese government has slammed the brakes on next year’s Shanghai Pride, the longest-running and best-known pride event in the nation.

The announcement came via Shanghai Pride’s Facebook “>page last week, in which the organizers announced that pride had been canceled for the first time since the celebration began in 2009.

“Shanghai Pride regrets to announce that we are canceling all upcoming activities and taking a break from scheduling any future events,” organizers wrote in the post. “The decision was difficult to make but we have to protect the safety of all involved. It’s been a great 12-year ride, and we are honored and proud to have traveled this journey of raising awareness and promoting diversity for the LGBTQ community.”

CNN now reports that anonymous sources have provided a bit more information surrounding the nixed event. Apparently, the Chinese government had begun pressuring the all-volunteer staff of Shanghai Pride to cancel, going so far as to lobby them in their daily lives.

Related: Major tech company challenges LGBTQ censorship in China with this commercial featuring a gay couple

“The public gets to see the visible and impactful aspects of what we do, but they can’t imagine the difficulties we face behind the scenes — I think Shanghai Pride is no exception,” one source told the network. “With things becoming harder and riskier, laying low may let you survive for now. But the purpose of our job is to raise visibility and educate the public — that’s the dilemma.”

Shanghai Pride actually went off without a problem earlier this year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. That the organization would choose now to cancel next year’s celebration seem all the more perplexing.

Homosexuality remains legal in China, though queer Chinese citizens still experience discrimination thanks to cultural biases. Already this year, Queerty has reported on controversy surrounding a popular Singapore drama which featured a gay man as a pedophile, and the weird censorship of a jewelry commercial that featured a same-sex couple exchanging rings. Captions for the advertisement referred to the two men–who appear to be about the same age–as father and son.